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How To Use Google Analytics Effectively

28 Jul
2016
Google Analytics

How To Use Google Analytics Effectively

 

Most business owners know that Google Analytics is an essential tool for their website. However, very few utilize it for more than simple traffic reports. With GA you have Google’s omnipotent infrastructure which can process millions of points of data instantaneously at your fingertips.

Here are some tips so you can better use Google Analytics.

Set Goals

In order to be successful using Google Analytics, you need to create goals and sales funnels in order to measure performance. Whether you’re referral source is from SEO web traffic, advertising or social media, goals have to be set but of course you will have different goals for each medium.

Audience Views

Google analytics gives you the option of creating different views with different settings. The default view normally says “All Website Data” and you should not change this. Instead, create new views with different settings and filters to get a better picture of what is happening when visitors come to your site.

Conversions

Measuring conversions does not just mean sales. We live in a new world and everything has changed. Content marketing is the way to increase brand awareness and long term business value. There are micro conversions and macro conversions. A micro conversion is the conversion on the way to a macro or final conversion (sale). When someone signs up for your email list or subscribes to your blog, that is a micro conversion and one measurement of digital marketing success.

Know Your Bounce Rate

Getting visitors to your website is important. However, more important, is getting them to stay. Use GA’s Bounce Rate report to see the percentage of visitors who immediately exited once they opened your website. If your percentages are high, check and see what keywords and links brought them to your site in the first place. It might be understandable if these sources are generic and unspecific. Nonetheless, if your Bounce Rate is high for terms that are unique to your industry, it is time to redesign your landing pages.

Know Your Exit Rate

Even more important than your Bounce Rate, is your Exit Rate. This is important because it tells you on what specific page visitors left your site. If you find a particular page to have a high percentage of exits, it is time to make some updates to that page. Your goal is to drive people to your site and then keep their attention. You want them to click on three, four, five, or more of your site’s pages.

Understand Your Average Session Duration

It is important to determine the average amount of time someone stays on your website. Business owners typically do this with GA’s Average Session Duration report. However, these results cannot always be trusted and do not necessarily represent the actual behavior of your site’s visitors. It is not accurate because it only gives you percentages of percentages.

Because GA’s Average Session Duration report is not very effective, this does not mean you should disregard it. You have to dig deeper into the results. You have the option of narrowing your Average Session Duration into categories like traffic source, country, state, city. It is from these reports that you can garner useful information.

You do this by filtering the top exit pages of your website. This gives you the frequency metrics of when website visitors leave and go somewhere else. You can get it completely broken down by each page of your site. This can help determine which pages are wasting your valuable resources.

Know Your Top Keywords

GA’s Top Keywords Report is possibly the most crucial analytics tools in your arsenal. Use it to determine which specific keywords and phrases brought visitors to your site. It is a necessity to determine whether these keywords are the ones you want associated with your business. Spending time cross referencing these results, and working backward through your data, provides all the information necessary to develop a marketing strategy.

Paul Schlanger
author

Paul Schlanger is founder and CEO of World Wide Web Solutions Inc. A Full Service Web Agency that specializes in web design, website management and internet marketing.

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